Islamabad, November 17, 2023 (PAKONOMY): In a significant development, Pakistan is poised to elevate its productivity and emerge as a regional agricultural powerhouse, as highlighted by Tariq Sultan, Principal Scientific Officer at the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC).
With a renewed commitment to sustainable practices, innovation, and technology adoption, Pakistan aims to enhance agricultural yields, contributing not only to its own food security but also positioning the country as a key player in the regional agricultural landscape.
Sultan emphasizes the government’s focus on modernizing and revitalizing the agricultural sector. Precision agriculture, with its integration of technology, offers a pathway to significantly increase productivity while mitigating environmental impact. The adoption of GPS-guided tractors, drones, and sensor technologies is set to optimize resource utilization, enhance crop management, and contribute to sustainable farming practices.
The government’s proactive approach towards research and development, especially in the realm of genetically modified crops, showcases a commitment to addressing issues such as pest infestations and agricultural diseases. These efforts, coupled with technical improvements, are anticipated to increase crop resilience and reduce reliance on chemical inputs, aligning with global movements toward ecologically friendly and sustainable farming methods.
The World Bank has approved $200 million in financing to support Pakistan’s agricultural transformation. The funds will be utilized to adopt climate-smart technologies, improve water-use efficiency, build resilience to extreme weather events, and increase the incomes of smallholder farmers.
The approved funds will be channeled into the Punjab Resilient and Inclusive Agriculture Transformation Project (PRIAT). This project aims to increase agricultural productivity through efficient and equitable access to water for smallholder farms. It will support farmers at the community and household levels to adopt climate-smart farming practices and technologies, enhancing crop yields and conserving water resources in Punjab.
PRIAT seeks to engage the private sector in sourcing appropriate technologies and providing tailored training for water user associations and individual households. This collaborative effort aims to improve water conservation practices and boost agriculture productivity. The project is anticipated to benefit about 190,000 small, family-owned farms and 1.4 million acres of irrigated land in rural communities.